Sendak, who died in 2012, is perhaps best known for his children’s book “Where the Wild Things Are,” which was first published in 1963 and has since sold more than 19 million copies worldwide as of 2009.
The book's depictions of fanged monsters concerned some parents when it was first published, as his characters were somewhat grotesque in appearance.
According to Sendak, at first the book was banned in libraries and received negative reviews. It took about two years for librarians and teachers to realize that children were flocking to the book, checking it out over and over again, and for critics to relax their views. Since then, it has received high critical acclaim.
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Mary Pols of Time magazine wrote that "What makes Sendak's book so compelling is its grounding effect: Max has a tantrum and in a flight of fancy visits his wild side, but he is pulled back by a belief in parental love to a supper 'still hot,' balancing the seesaw of fear and comfort."
In Selma G. Lanes' book “The Art of Maurice Sendak,” Sendak discusses “Where the Wild Things Are,” along with his other books “In the Night Kitchen” and “Outside Over There,” as a sort of trilogy centered on children's growth, survival, change and fury. He indicates that the three books are "all variations on the same theme: how children master various feelings -- danger, boredom, fear, frustration, jealousy -- and manage to come to grips with the realities of their lives."
Sendak’s animated Doodle begins with Max, the main character from “Where the Wild Things Are,” and then transitions to the surreal cityscape of “In The Night Kitchen,” a book that depicts a young boy's dream journey through a surreal baker's kitchen. It then ends with the birthday party from Sendak's 2011 book, “Bumble-Ardy.”
Check below to see the Sendak Google Doodle.